To advance SDG target, legislators’ Manifesto and ‘Save Lives’ public health package launched
New initiatives have been launched to advance progress in meeting the Sustainable Development Goal health target for road safety, as the FIA Foundation warned that the 2020 target deadline will need to be extended.
In a keynote address at the launch of a new Legislators’ Manifesto ‘#4RoadSafety’and the publication of the World Health Organization’s new ‘Save Lives’ focussed public health package for road safety, the FIA Foundation’s Chairman, Lord Robertson of Port Ellen (above), called on governments to redouble efforts to meet the UN target to halve road traffic fatalities by 2020, but to also recognise that – on current trends and because of a continued lack of urgency by many governments in addressing road safety – it will be necessary to extend the deadline for the road safety SDG target from 2020 to align with the majority of other targets in 2030.
“Implementation is the urgent priority because we know what works in road traffic injury prevention and we know that not enough is being done”, Lord Robertson said. “Indeed, on present trends it is sadly the case that we are unlikely to meet the UN target for 2020, and as the [#4RoadSafety] Manifesto argues, we must now make the case for an extension to 2030. There is abundant evidence of the effectiveness of enforcing laws on speeding, drink driving, use of motorcycle helmets and seat belts, and mandating vehicle and road safety construction standards. The problem is that too few countries are applying what we know will make roads safe.
Released during the 2017 UN Global Road Safety Week, the Manifesto #4RoadSafety has been adopted by a cross party group of senior Members of Parliament from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, the United States and the United Kingdom. The MPs warn that on present trends it is unlikely that the UN’s aim to halve road deaths by 2020 will be reached, describing such an outcome as “a tragic missed opportunity to apply known and effective policies to make roads safe”. The aim is to sign up at least 1000 legislators worldwide in support of the manifesto by April 2018. The FIA Foundation is endorsing this effort, and co-funded an initial meeting in December 2016 which brought legislators together to agree the key policy headlines of the manifesto.
The Manifesto #4RoadSafety includes ten key recommendations to encourage parliamentarians to support the current United Nation’s Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020) and endorses a new ‘Save Lives’ package of road injury prevention measures issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Also formally launched at the event in central London, which was organised by the Towards Zero Foundation and the UK Parliamentary Advisory Committee on Transport Safety (PACTS), the WHO Save Lives package recommends adoption by all UN Member States of laws to tackle speeding, drink driving, non-use of motorcycle helmets, seat belts and child restraints, and the application of acceptable vehicle and road safety construction standards. The Manifesto #4RoadSafety also includes recommendations on speed management and the Safe System approach, occupational road safety, good governance and funding for road injury prevention, the role of the multilateral development banks, and proposes a new UN target for road safety in 2030.
Commenting on the manifesto the Chairman of the Global Network for Road Safety Legislators, Barry Sheerman, said: “With a UN target to halve road deaths by 2020 there has never been a stronger mandate for all countries to take action to stop the appalling daily carnage on our roads. Despite rising motorisation, better national road safety policies have helped to slow the rise in global road fatalities. To meet the UN target much more needs to be done and parliamentarians worldwide can play a decisive role by supporting our manifesto and the adoption and enforcement of laws that will make roads safe”.
In his speech, Lord Robertson also highlighted the new Speed Vaccine campaign launched on 8th May by the FIA Foundation and the Global Initiative for Child Health & Mobility. “Our initiative on Safe & Healthy Journeys to School highlights the appalling fact that 3000 children and adolescents are killed or seriously injured in road crashes, every day. The equivalent of two large schools disappearing, every day. This is the theme of an Open Letter the Foundation is publishing today, which calls for the proven vaccine of urban speed reduction to be widely and urgently applied.”